Interview with Jack Donovan
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Mike: Hello, and welcome to Counter-Currents Radio. I’m your host, Michael Polignano. I’m here with Counter-Currents Editor Greg Johnson, and today we’re talking to Jack Donovan about his new book, The Way of Men. Jack, welcome to the program.
Jack: Thank you for having me.
Mike: So tell us about your new book.
Jack: I’ve been writing about masculinity for several years and the question that everyone has is, “What is masculinity?” When you ask people about it, they give you all kinds of different answers. They start to grasp for images from movies or things that they’ve been told, and they really don’t make sense.
I wanted to find, “What is it, really?” I didn’t want to look at which cultural idea of masculinity was best. I wanted to look at what all cultures seem to have in common. So that was what I was going for in The Way of Men.
Greg: Your first chapter is called “The Way of Men is the Way of the Gang.” Can you explain that?
Jack: Absolutely. That’s what I managed to distill it down to. As I said, I wanted to cut out all the morality and all the different ideas that different cultures have. What we have in common is this primal past. We can see that even today when men size each other up, and you look at what they look for in each other: if someone you meet says, “That guy’s a manly guy,” or not, what is he really saying?
And what I think he’s saying is that that guy has the ability to survive. He would step forward in front of other men. He would be able to assert himself. He gives off an air of strength and courage. He seems like he cares what other men think about him.
That’s a bit of a confusing point in the sense that a lot of people say that alpha qualities are not caring what anyone thinks about you, but that’s kind of caring too. Putting it out there that you don’t care what people think of you is a way of showing you are above them. That’s a status thing too.
Greg: You’re trying to show them that you’re not trying to impress them, or you don’t need to impress them, but that’s just a way of impressing people at a higher level.
Greg: Your approach to defining masculinity is sort of like Rousseau did in his Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, or writers like Hobbes or Locke did: you’re going back to the “state of nature,” based on your understanding of history and anthropology. You’re saying that we can understand masculinity in terms of this primal scene, the state of nature, and how these masculine ideals and virtues form there.
So can you tell us a little bit about the “state of nature” picture that you paint in the book?
Jack: What I think is really great about my perception of the state of nature is I’m not trying to tell a Just So story so much as I’m trying to—
I think it’s still true today. I think if society breaks down right now, men will have to make the same choices. And they will have to look for the same qualities in each other. So I think our state of nature is just as easily—
It’s just as easy as we can find it now, as opposed to making an argument that we behaved in a certain way in the past. I make a joke: everybody wants to talk about the zombie apocalypses, and there seems to be a lot of disaster porn around right now, and I think that’s people yearning to get to this situation where the decisions matter. So my picture of primal man is just, what do you have to do to survive when there are all these things around you that threaten your existence.
Greg: Right. The state of nature comes back every time there’s a prison riot, every time the lights go out in certain cities and things like that. So it’s just bubbling there beneath the surface, right?
Jack: Absolutely. You could have a blackout at Safeway and it could turn into the state of nature.
Greg: Hurricane Katrina, back to the state of nature. Boom.
Greg: So what are the virtues that are required of men if they are existing in a more primal, un-policed, violent state?
Jack: Well, for men to survive — Obviously, if things are difficult you need men to be as strong as they can be. Weakness is portrayed as a strength in our society because it gets you on talk shows. But in any survival situation, you need people to be as strong as they can be. And you want the men around you to be able to carry their own weight: you don’t want to have to carry them. That’s extremely important.
The next idea is that you want them to be courageous. It’s the second of what I call the tactical virtues. And that’s something that every military force in the world puts high on their list. When you are under threat you need people that aren’t going to fold. You need men around you who are not going to run, or say they don’t care about fighting.
Then, mastery. Obviously you want people around you who are competent. Men judge each other by competence all the time. I think that’s the least gendered of the virtues. But it definitely comes into play. And it’s how the men who are not the strongest or the most courageous can often make themselves valuable to the group.
And then the final virtue is Honor. Honor really comes down to loyalty, because honor is about caring about your reputation within the group. If you don’t care what those men think of you — if you don’t make them believe that you care what they think, how can they trust you? How can they make sure that you are part of us, and not part of them?
Greg: With regard to strength, how do you analyze “strength,” exactly? Is it just physical strength? Is that the root of it? But is there more to strength then just physical strength?
Jack: Well, I don’t want to extend it too far and get too abstract with it because I don’t want to carry it into fortitude. Fortitude can be more about courage.
I try to make strength fairly physical and about abilities; strength could also be “speed.” But I try and keep strength as a physical virtue because it is one of the very— It’s the most specific virtue to men. Men are— It’s a fact that men are stronger than women. It is one of our defining differences. And so strength in the physical sense is what I apply to is one of the main virtues to start with. But, the will to use that strength is “courage.” So they’re complimentary virtues in that sense.
Greg: Courage as Aristotle and other classical writers define it has to do with mastery of fear. Is that how you define it? How exactly do you define courage?
Jack: I think that’s definitely part of it. Mastery of fear is definitely part of it. But there are men who are courageous, and there’s nothing particularly noble about it.
I talk about that in the book. A writer called Sam Sheridan, who writes about MMA fighting, talked about a dogfighting concept called “gameness.” And I really like this idea, because the idea of gameness is that if a dog is “game” it will keep fighting no matter what. Even if it’s tired, even if it’s bruised. And I think there are men who have that, and men who don’t.
In order to display a higher form of courage, you also have to have that. You have to be the guy who’s willing to jump in and not give up, rather than just a guy who believes he should jump in. There are certain men — and you can tell it: when you look at different men, you can tell which men are going to step back and which ones are going to step forward. That is part of courage — that’s the most basic element of it.
Obviously, the idea of making a sacrifice and mastering fear over time: that’s a virtue that you can cultivate.
Greg: Right. The flip side of courage, for the classical writers like Aristotle, was temperance. So the idea is that pleasure and pain are the two great motivating feelings, and courage deals more with the mastery of pain (which would include fear). And temperance is mastery over pleasure: the desires to enjoy — to eat, drink, and be merry. Do you think that temperance is a masculine virtue, too?
Jack: A lot of virtues are good for men to have. By the same token you could say a woman who doesn’t want to be a slut is displaying temperance: that’s a mastery of the same kind of thing. So I don’t think it’s a specifically masculine virtue, and that’s really what I was looking for in this book.
There are tons of virtues that I would prefer that men had, but I wanted to look at what good men and bad men have in common.
Greg: Exactly. Temperance is actually a girl’s name, so . . .
Greg: There’s this old saying “discretion is the better part of valor,” which can be fleshed out this way — and Aristotle gives a really good analysis of the virtues. He says the virtues are a mean between two extremes: the extreme of excess and the extreme of defect. So the vice of excess related to courage would be foolhardiness, and the defect related to courage would be cowardice.
Because the virtue is a middle way, and because you can fall off on one side or the other, the man who’s more likely to cleave to the mean and walk that middle path is going to be the man who has, on top of courage, discretion. He’s going to have prudence — and I guess prudence is another girl’s name so, obviously that’s not just a masculine virtue.
Greg: But does this idea of discretion being the better part of valor make sense, in your analysis? Or are you trying to peel away that intellectual level entirely and just focus on courage?
Jack: I am trying to peel away the intellectual level a little bit, but in reality how things play out, if you have a guy who’s trying to start fights for no reason — say, you’re in a small tribe and you have another tribe next door, and you have a guy who’s trying to start fights for no reason — he then becomes a liability.
So even at the most basic primal level like that, there is some need to control. I think all small groups have it. The guy who’s crazy who goes off the handle and gets in trouble. It’s a theme in mob movies: the guy who can’t shut his mouth and gets everyone in trouble. So discretion is important to that kind of thing. But then I think it comes into the virtue of mastery in my series of virtues.
Greg: So mastery would include self-mastery, as well as mastery of nature?
Jack: Absolutely. Mastery of nature, mastery of yourself, mastery of knowledge. Someone had commented on Counter-Currents about the review, well, what about the geek? And I say the geek is the guy who came up with the technology for the strong guys to use. He’s part of the picture; he just has a greater aptitude for mastery than the other virtues.
Greg: Right. This notion of gameness is what brought to mind discretion, because it strikes me that you could describe somebody who is really “game” as the kind person who might have a hair trigger, the first guy in the fight, the last guy to stop.
But then the question is: is it wise to be the first guy in sometimes? The guy who gives more, who adds more value, who’s more valuable to the community might be the guy who bides his time. Who thinks, “well, I’m being challenged, but I can’t win this fight so I better not take it up.”
Retreat, tactical withdrawal — whatever — might sometimes be the best thing in terms of actually being able to win. Where does that fit in? That’s the question I’m getting to. Because you can always say that a guy who plays it safe, who withdraws, who retreats — you can always say, “Come back here, you coward!” And they would be a fool if they took that challenge.
Jack: Right, right. And that’s true. I don’t get into leadership a lot in this book, because I’m talking about basic virtues that can apply to every single man. Maybe the highest member of the group has some additional virtues . . . because he has to.
But when you talk about how men evaluate each other, the thing is — people have laughed at me before, but I do think there is a bit of a point system, when you deal with men to a certain degree. My best pal, his dad did two tours in ‘Nam and probably killed a lot of people. So, when he says “Hey, I want to take Jazz Boxing at the gym,” we just kind of let it go. [Laughs] Because he has enough man-points, and he has more than we will ever have.
So I think there’s a little bit of that too. If a man retreats every single day, all the time, that’s a defect of manhood. But if you’re retreating tactically when it’s prudent . . . The people who are going to be in charge of that decision more often have shown that they don’t retreat all the time.
Greg: Right, that’s true. History in my opinion — history and politics — does show a trend that the prudent win out over the extremely macho. The people who are a little too “game,” maybe, and so they charge forward brashly. They have that excess.
Jack: Yeah. But you want those guys on your side. [Laughs]
Greg: Oh yeah, definitely.
Jack: You don’t want them on the other guy’s side.
Greg: You want them on your side, and you want them to be the first guy off the landing craft when it hits the beach.
Greg: Let’s talk a bit more about honor. Do you give an analysis, or do you have some thoughts about the idea of nobility? Because that’s very much connected with honor, historically speaking. What’s a noble man, and how does that relate to honor?
Jack: Well, I think “noble” is a tricky word to define. You can go back to its roots and all that kind of thing, but . . . When I’m talking about honor I’m talking about something a little bit more primal in terms of a man’s reputation. But I think a civilization advances — and that’s the point I make in the book — our idea of manhood becomes more Byzantine; there’s a lot more to it.
I think that nobility is a level of refinement to honor. That would be your highest level. But the point I want to make is you can have the highest virtues, but if the men on the ground aren’t getting what they need, none of that matters. The highest virtues are not always necessarily going to win. The highest virtues are not necessarily always going to be satisfactory. At a certain point, the highest virtues can become almost ascetic, in the sense that they become all about self-denial. And at the highest level of civilizations like the level we are at now, there’s more self-denial than most men can handle.
Greg: That’s a very good point. One thing that strikes me about men — one of the weaknesses of men — is basically this: You can sell men on the most appalling forms of self-destruction as long as you can convince them that it is macho. So the ridiculous, degrading things that knights did in the name of chivalry, for instance. And for every stupid war that comes down the line, you can get guys to go out and throw their lives away, often for aliens, often for very ignoble purposes, if you just convince them it’s the macho, honorable thing to do.
One of the ways I’ve been reading your book is that as civilization has gotten more complex, men are being manipulated into using their primal masculine virtues to promote values and institutions and ways of life that are really very terribly alienating and destructive to them. And if it hurts a lot, you just tell them, “Well, man up!”
Jack: Well yeah. That is how men get caught. Absolutely. It’s a huge problem with men. The thing is, our society doesn’t give men enough of what they want, and so they look for the worst ways to get it.
I think that’s a cultural problem especially for White people. I think that’s one of the attractions to something like gansta rap, ghetto culture, and things like that. You have these guys who seem to have all the things that young men want: they have “hos,” money, flashy cars, guns, and power. And then you give them the alternative of self-denial: something I wanted to talk about in my response to that review.
There’s a John Waters movie called Crybaby, the 1950s club is called “Squares,” and they’re in a war against the Drapes. Everything the Squares has to offer seems to be about buttoning up your collar, having champagne with Buffy, and then you have all these people who exude this raw power. If you don’t have enough balance between this prim-and-proper culture and the raw power, then you’re men start to bleed over to the other side. They go where they can find what they want.
Greg: Right. Alexandre Kojève, who was a Russian-born, French-speaking Hegel scholar, has a lot of really interesting things to say about Hegel’s master-slave dialectic, and then he relates it to the development of society since then into the 20th century. And for him, the beginning of history is what Hegel describes in this primal scene of the battle to the death over prestige. That’s the beginning of humanity, as opposed to just clever animalness, and it’s the beginning of history because people are starting to fight over things and prize things that aren’t just natural and given. And so the emergence of culture comes from the cult of honor.
Yet at the same time, what has happened as civilization has advanced and as people have struggled for recognition, is you get this egalitarian society where everybody being’s recognized and everyone’s getting hugs and ego gratification. Everyone’s kind of touchy about their personal space, and it gets to be this extremely repressive society that we have today: this oppressive egalitarian ethos.
And what he says is that at that point, that’s the end of history for him. It’s emasculating, in your terminology, and he says it leaves this primal negativity, this willingness to fight over honor, unemployed. And of course idle hands do the devil’s work.
So he hypothesizes that in a bourgeois society where everyone is prim and proper and self-denying and polite, that unemployed negativity is going to collect itself in the form of criminal activity. The gang and things like that. Gang culture is just the unemployed negativity, raw masculinity, primal forces that are finding a new social form to accommodate and express them because the dominant society has no use for them anymore. Unless, of course, they want to start a war in the Middle East.
So when I was reading your book I was thinking that you’re really keying into this analysis that Kojève gives, that if we don’t provide a recognized social space for this and cultivate this, then men are going to cultivate it anyway and do it in ways that are profoundly antisocial and perhaps destructive. Which, in my book that’s probably good, because I think that this society needs to be wrapped up, and we need to start history over again.
Jack: I agree completely.
Greg: So that brings us to Operation Mayhem.
Greg: Tell us a little bit about your analysis of modernity, because some of the best chapters in the book deal with modernity: “The Bonobo Masturbation Society,” “Start the World,” and things like that. Can you talk a little bit about your analysis of modernity, because I think it’s really compelling.
Jack: Well I think it’s much along the lines of what you were saying right there. Unfortunately, as worthy as many women are, if you give equal power to women what you’re actually doing is giving 51% of power to women, and on a long enough timeline things shift to a female culture.
And I think that’s what we’ve been seeing. It’s interesting if you go back and look at men’s magazines in the 20s and 30s — I have a few at my house — they say what’s going to happen if you let women in control of everything, and those are all the things that have happened.
Men have always known what would happen if you let women in charge, and I think that our society is being redesigned for women right now. And the things that you’re talking about as far as this prim-and-proper culture: that’s a mother culture.
Jack: The idea where everyone gets hugs and everyone gets quick ego gratification, everyone gets “likes” on Facebook. Everybody posts pictures to get a little bit of extra ego boost for the day. This constant—the way that you’re treated when you’re a small child, when you’re mother wants to make sure that you don’t feel bad, whereas your father takes a more stern route to make sure you can function in the world.
We’re in a mother culture now. And there’s this discussion about how men aren’t growing up, and the reason is that they have no real need to. There’s no real pressure. They’re untested. And so every risk that they would take is kind of insured. There are too many safety nets, and we don’t use our men in the way that they need to be used, in part, in response to feminism.
Greg: Jack, you have a chapter on “The Bonobo Masturbation Society” — that’s the title. It begins with a discussion of the distinction between two primates, the bonobos and the chimpanzees, from this really interesting book I read years ago called Demonic Males.
Can you summarize some of that, and apply it to your understanding of modernity?
Jack: Well, Demonic Males is a fascinating book, and what’s so gratifying about it is that it’s written by men who really don’t want to believe what they’re writing. They consider themselves pacifists and feminists. But they have come to the conclusion that men have been doing the same thing throughout history, and the way that they present it is through the conflict between bonobos and chimpanzees.
Men have acted more like chimpanzees. Chimpanzees will actually hunt; they will actually go out and kill, pick off members of the competing parties; and they create this strong identity group which is kind of a brotherhood. Whereas Bonobo societies tend to be run by females; they tend to have sex just for pleasure, much as we do today. They tend to have—They’re a fatherless culture, because there’s so much sex that their sons don’t know who their fathers are, but they follow their mothers around all the time.
And when the boys get in trouble, the females step in to make sure that they don’t create too much trouble.
And I think you can see that happening everywhere in our society. The female kind of interrupts that male bonding process that men need to try and create that “us,” that sense of society that actually is the germ of culture.
Unfortunately what we have is—One of the problems of modernity is that the feminist groups have made sure that men don’t have any space. And that they don’t have a place where you can just have men and exclude females. And that’s very smart on women’s part because it serves their interests: men tend to create trouble when they get in small groups. Women’s value tends to go down when men have a group of tight peers. So women in our society are kind of interrupting male bonding processes. So that’s one of the unfortunate things now.
Greg: Judith Butler, who’s a feminist writer, coined a new term called “homosociality.” It’s basically her attempt to identify, and in some ways to stigmatize, the idea that men associate or socialize with men alone. It is something that feminists worry about. They have to constantly push their way into things that were previously all male.
And yet as soon as women get involved in these things it seems to lose its value to men. The more women are going to college, the less value, psychologically, men put on college education, for instance.
Can you talk a little bit about that, and where is that going? How are men going to be able to socialize with one another? And also, how are they going to have this kind of male bonding?
Jack: Well, it seems that Internet and video games are the last redoubt for men. They seem to have gone off and . . . But that’s slowly going away too. Those games, from what I hear, are being policed a lot too.
Now that the major form of entertainment that men have — and that’s kind of where they socialize. But it’s not quite the real thing. And that’s what’s unfortunate. That keeps a very peaceful, disempowered populace of men. Because they need to have that face time; they need to have actual groups of men that they’re connected to. Because knowing three guys with their handles that are all across the world that you’re really close with . . . doesn’t really help you change the world around you. You can go online and pick on people, but that’s about all you get.
By forcing that kind of integration of females and males into every single space, women have really done a disservice to men. And I think they have created a lot of instability. And then now they’re complaining about it everywhere: that men don’t care about getting college educations. Which, to women, means they don’t make enough money, and they aren’t going to contribute to the household expenses. And that they aren’t worth marrying.
I think I saw a headline the other day about a woman who married herself because she was tired of waiting. And I think that that’s happening more and more.
Greg: That’s so funny. I would make something like that up as a satire on feminism; but, like a lot of phenomena, you can’t make fun of it because it’s already there. It’s its own best parody sometimes.
Jack: Absolutely. It is really, really funny. It’s the joke that people made of it.
Greg: Women want to have their cake and eat it too. They want strong men to protect them, but they want men weak enough to dominate and be pliable all the time. And they just don’t understand that they can’t have both of those.
Jack: Well, and a lot of what the guys in the so-called “Manosphere” talk about is the fact that the women end up having their cake and eating it too. Attractive women, at least, manage to pin down the submissive guy and then cheat on him with the alpha guy.
Jack: And that’s a really interesting topic too. Because I think what we’re doing is dysgenic in that way. We’re basically selecting out a lot of the guys who have the qualities I’m talking about in this book naturally, because the guys who are submissive and who are willing to do anything a woman says; they’re the ones who are actually getting married and having the kids. Whereas my friends who have a lot of the alpha traits who get in fistfights and so forth, those guys go out and bang strippers with condoms on. So they’re not having kids. They’re not having kids, but they’re the guys I would run to if anything bad happened immediately because they have all the natural mechanical skills.
Jack: And that’s some of the things I want to point out in this book, that the mechanical—there’s a certain aptitude that doesn’t correspond to, say, verbal intelligence that I might have or you might have. These guys who just have this amazing tactical ability, to look at a situation and say, “this is going to happen, that is going to happen down the road,” and they are locked in.
And that’s a hunter skill. And I don’t have that as much as I would like, but that is something that may be lost, or may decrease. And the people who keep it may be the people who win.
Greg: Yeah. The thing is, the establishment is betting on the fact that they’re going to be able to continue winning, obviously. They’re putting all their eggs in that basket; they’re assuming that they’re going to win. If they didn’t assume that, they wouldn’t be in the game that they’re in.
The trouble is that down the road they might find that there’s a brief glitch in the matrix and they just don’t have the skills necessary to survive. You can’t fight armored thrusts by Panzers with candlelight vigils and things like that…
Greg: . . . it’s just not going to work if they have a breakdown in civilization. I think you and I both are betting that this civilization is not sustainable in the long run.
Jack: I hope not.
Greg: So let’s talk a bit about what you think is going to happen, and what you would like to happen.
Jack: Well I can talk about what I’d like to happen. I’m not a Futurist — I don’t have the background, I have no real idea about world economics, and I’d be a fool to start talking about that. But what I’d like to have happen is . . . I do think there are a lot of unsatisfied men. And I think that they are disillusioned with the system, and you’re seeing that in riots around the world.
I don’t think people trust their governments. I don’t think people respect their governments in the way that they used to. I don’t think that they have a connection to the state in the way that they used to. I think that’s trouble for big society, and that leads to a more armed enforcement.
But what I would like to have happen is for men to disengage completely. To form their own self-sustaining groups. To men to find men in their area or move to where men are that you can share your values, in whom you can trust.
Set up bartering networks. Set up different ways to support each other and not worry about supporting Best Buy or Walmart or any of these big corporations that will really just sell you out.
Our politicians and our corporate leaders, they’ve made it okay. And I think that’s one of the things that multiculturalism and globalism do: they make it okay for you to sell out your neighbors because we’re all one world tribe. And as long as we’re all one world tribe, they can get away with that. And if you have people who start to think more locally, think more about their friends and taking care of the people around them, and have their loyalties lie close to them, you can hollow out the state a little bit. That gives men more room to move.
Mike: Jack, are you familiar with John Robb, who runs the blog Global Guerrillas?
Jack: Yes, I have his book [Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization] on my bookshelf. I haven’t read it yet, but I have been reading his blog for a while, and yes, that was a pretty big influence on this book.
There was also a book — and this was a book on the Left, that’s important when people on the Left are acknowledging the same problems. There’s a book called A World of Gangs, and it’s by a gang expert [John Hagedorn] who kind of looked at the rest of the world, and then sees there are all these gangs in all these different areas where societies are falling apart. And they’re the ones who run things.
And I think that serves as kind of a way out for men. If you have a self-sustaining group that maybe knows that the government is there, but the government really doesn’t mess with it. And that happens in major cities now. When Mexico is more peaceful it’s because one gang has gained control. It’s not because the government is more powerful.
I think that’s a way forward.
Mike: Do you agree with John Robb that things are ultimately heading in that direction? That there will be a transitional period where resilient communities are really the ones that run the show?
Jack: I would like to think so. If we’re talking apocalypse scenarios, I think that violent gangs will take whatever resilient communities have. That’s kind of the way I see things. But John Robb is a smarter guy than I am, so . . . [Laughs] he probably knows more about this than I do.
But I do think that it couldn’t hurt to start setting up more resilient communities.
Greg: Armed resilient communities.
Jack: Now I like where your head’s at. Yeah.
Mike: What sort of career training or skills would you recommend your friends pursue?
Jack: I think the most important thing, from what we just talked about, is tactical training. Definitely to go and get firearms while you still can, and go to those kind of training sessions with your friends, the people you want to surround yourself with.
It takes a long time to build up that connection. It takes a while until you can read each other. Without signals or anything special. The guy you’re really going to fight well with is a guy whose body language you can read. You just know what he’s going to do. And the military creates that sort of situation by putting men together for long periods of time. So you have to replicate that. Get to know your friends really well, and get to know how they’ll perform in that kind of environment.
Mike: I was training for a while at a [Brazilian] jiu-jitsu gym back when I lived in Atlanta, and it was neat because those sort of connections did start forming. I had two other guys who I knew pretty well who got me going there. But then once you’re there, it starts to be more comradely. And one of the things you learn is when people are telegraphing moves to pick up on that. You become more attuned to body language and being able to read people.
Jack: Absolutely. Understanding how men operate is something you can only learn from men. You need to put that time in and understand body language. If you’re just sitting at your computer all the time, or if you’re just shopping all the time, the fantasy of the guy who knows nothing coming out on top in the end in the movies just isn’t going to happen. It’s going to be the guy who’s prepared for that.
[Laughs] It’s going to be the country boys who survive, in a lot of ways. I go out in the country here in Oregon and you see guys who’ve been doing this stuff all their lives. You know, they’ve been out shooting with their buddies since they were five. Those are the guys you’re going to have to compete with.
Greg: So talk to us a little bit about the chapter “Start the World.” That was one of my favorite chapters in the book.
Jack: Well, it’s such a great quote. And it’s such a bizarre mouth for it to come out of. But it was the Cannes Film Festival, I think, where Peter Fonda, I think, said it. He said his grandsons were training with guns and kind of alluded to Obama and war between the haves and the have-nots.
He didn’t want to say that he wanted to stop something from happening. But he said he wanted to start the world. And I think that’s a good way to talk about what we need to have happen. Get men started, and get them thinking about creating disappointment. Moving away from the government; giving up on it. Giving their allegiance to someone else.
Greg: Right. I think it’s very important for us — as White Nationalists, it’s very important for us — to think in terms of unplugging from the current system, not wasting our time in engaging it politically. I think that really is a waste of time. It might be useful to gain people skills and political experience and even leadership skills. But in terms of actually changing the system I just don’t think that’s going to happen.
I think it’s important for us to ask ourselves what kind of things can we do now, what kind of alternative communities can we build now that might become the seeds of a new political order. And this is why I like John Robb’s Global Guerrillas and his stuff about Resilient Communities; this is why I like your chapter on starting the world.
There’s this notion of the Männerbund as the basis of Aryan Civilization. The bonded male group. The warrior party. And it strikes me that one of the systematic ways that our civilization has been undermined is to make it impossible for men to engage in this kind of male bonding without the government or Big Brother or Big Sister approving that and channeling it back into maintaining the system.
I think that once that starts happening, it can be a real game changer. And it also strikes me that it is very, very important, as you were stressing, to have these warrior skills. For the simple reason that, in a more primitive society when things break down, political obligation will sort itself out again in the most primal form, which is this: you are obligated to those who provide you protection.
And so it strikes me that it might even be very useful for men who are thinking in terms of unplugging from this System to bet on certain trends. For instance, if the state begins to hollow out, wealthy people, powerful people — and let’s face it, the rich are always going to be with us — they’re going to go to private security contractors to preserve their wealth and their lives.
If there are men who are thinking in terms of providing the seeds of a new order, I think moving into the security business, the private security business, might be a great way of combining that kind of male bonding, that kind of training, and at the same time being able to make a living doing it.
Jack: That’s not a bad idea. It seems to be where a lot of guys in the military end up . . .
Jack: . . . after the fact. Private security, definitely. I know there’s a lot of problems even with bouncers and things like that, because there’s such a fear of lawsuits, especially race-based lawsuits. One of our gun trainers who I worked with actually told me that he got fired as a bouncer because he pulled a gun when a young Black man was holding a gun to someone else’s head. And he naturally pulled to protect the person, but got fired because the guy was Black.
There’s all kinds of that stuff happening right now, but absolutely. That’s where you can get those skills; that’s where you can build that up. Rich people will rely on private security.
My question for rich people though, to a certain extent: if you’re putting your eggs in that basket, how many men are going to be willing to die for you for $10 an hour? Or whatever you’re willing to pay them. You know? I don’t know if it’ll work out for the Mr. Burnses of the world to have evil henchmen [Laughs] Because I don’t know how many evil henchmen will die for what you’re willing to pay them.
But it could definitely be an area for building.
Greg: Right, exactly. The difference between an employee and a member of a healthy organic society is precisely that. If you have a healthy organic order where there are real bonds of brotherhood between people — those people will take a bullet for you. Whereas the rent-a-cops won’t.
It’s a very, very brittle, hollow System that we have right now. And the Mr. Burnses of the world — the 1% — they’re very, very foolish if they think their rent-a-cops are going to save them. But still.
Jack: Yes. And what we really need to focus on is creating those groups who will take a bullet for each other, by getting men together. Because once men feel connected to each other, then you have an interesting group.
One of the anecdotes from the book that I co-authored on Blood Brotherhood, was that blood brotherhood was actually outlawed in some countries in Africa where it was really prevalent, because it was seen as a threat to the State. Because when men are so connected to each other that their allegiance takes precedence over their allegiance to a given government that may be very transitional they are actually subversive. So men who are in small groups can certainly be subversive.
Greg: Oh yeah. Politically speaking, Africa is a very unstable place for the simple reason that most of these African nations do not map out on the real boundaries that matter in Africa, which are tribal boundaries. I think Swaziland is the only country in Africa that is actually tribally homogeneous. I might be wrong about that, too. But all these other countries were basically cobbled together by the European empires, and they have these states that are very hollow and fragile, and usually what they boil down to is a hidden ethnic empire, where one tribal group rules over other tribal groups in the same state. So I can see why they would be very, very concerned about these pre-political tribal bonds, because those are the real bonds in those societies.
Jack: Absolutely. And that’s what I’d love to see more of, exactly what you said. These hidden ethnic empires. Break the world up into pieces that matter, instead of these arbitrary economic boundaries.
Greg: Right. This really fits in with our agenda at Counter-Currents because we are racial nationalists. In a way, the racial nationalist idea is almost as abstract as, say . . . It’s a stretch, in a certain way, because what we’re talking about is trying to form attachments, these primal attachments, to something which is very, very large, which is the race. Rather some something very, very small.
And so one of the things that we’re constantly cleaving against is petty nationalism. I socially shun people who will make Irish jokes or Polish jokes or things like that, because these things are extremely harmful for creating a larger White racial consciousness.
How can one create that larger scale racial consciousness, given that people are more wired for small groups anyway?
Jack: Well I think that’s going to be a hard thing. If you look at Europe, it was all these tiny little groups. Much smaller groups than something as big as “White people.”
And it may come down that way again. If we can help break the System apart, people are going to do what they’re going to do.
Jack: So if you can kind of keep pushing things in that direction and encouraging tribalism, the reality is that groups of White people are going to find groups of other White people. Because they’re going to share the same values; they’re going to look the same; they’re going to have similar shorthand for talking to one another, and they’re going to be able to understand each other.
These groups will get together. So basically what you need to do is worry about hollowing out the state and encouraging that kind of tribal mentality in all peoples. Because they’re going to find their place.
Greg: Right. And let these things sort themselves out.
I do think the fact that old European national identities are breaking down in America. Simply because White people are breeding with one another.
I attended a group back in August of friends of Counter-Currents, and I asked everybody in the room who was of unblended European stock to raise his or her hand. And of the 43 people there, only two raised their hands. Everybody else was of blended European heritages. And one of these people was actually from Germany. The two people who weren’t blended weren’t even Americans.
Every American in the room was of multiple European stocks. And after a few generations of that, what are you? You’re a White person. So I think that is one of the things that is happening.
And frankly, I think the enemy is doing a lot of our work for us, because they stigmatize us as White. You might not want to think of yourself as a White person, but when you’re discriminated against and victimized solely as a White person you start thinking of yourself that way, too.
Jack: Well yeah, I’ve always said if I ended up in prison I’m pretty sure what group I would be in. You don’t get to make the same kinds of decisions. And I have a Shamrock tattooed on my arm, and I’m bald. Do the math. But I think that if we could break apart this idea that we have to come up with a giant nation, like something as big as the United States — which is just a bizarrely unnatural size for any human group to have — you might have a situation where like, say, Oregonians become their own kind of people over time.
States Rights’ was one of the good ideas of the Founders, and it would have been a lot better if they had kept us a bit more broken apart. If we could let Louisiana do what Louisiana wants to do, and have Oregon do what it wants to do. And I think that you’d have a lot less of this big multicultural push if that had been allowed to happen.
But if we can kind of break apart the power of big government, then perhaps smaller groups would find their own identity and start again. Restart the world.
Greg: Jack, tell us a little bit about the book. It’s out now as a Kindle book, but we have a lot of old fashioned, reactionary ink-and-paper readers, including people who only want to buy hardcovers. So when is the ink-and-paper version of this book going to become available?
Jack: As soon as I get it done. I wanted to leverage the power of Kindle because a lot of my readers are online readers, and I think there is a lot of opportunity there to just get the book out there and get it people talking about it and get it talked about on blogs, so that when I go to print, and then go to maybe do a signing or two, I have all this backlog.
And also because I have a full-time job. It’s hard to do a giant book release when you work 40 hours a week. I can only do so many interviews and that sort of thing. So it allowed me to do a two-tiered launch and adjust it.
But the new book should be in print probably in about a month. I just have to get it designed and proofed and everything.
Greg: That’s great. I’ll volunteer to help out. And let me also say that if you want to come down to the Bay Area and do a book signing we can certainly do some leg work here for you. We’re happy to do that.
Jack: Well thank you.
Greg: Well Jack thank you so much for sharing with us today. I really wish you well with this book. I think it’s a terrific book. I recommend all of our listeners to hit that link and buy it, and if you’re not a Kindle user, this might be a good time to get started.
Jack: Keep in mind that Kindles can be read on your computer. People always say, “I don’t have a Kindle.” But you don’t need one. You can read it on your phone.
Greg: Jack, what’s your URL for your website? How do people buy your book, besides through Amazon?
Jack: Well, it will go through Amazon right now, but if you want to send them to my website it is jack-donovan.com.
Greg: Thank you very much.
Jack: Thank you.
En défense du populisme
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